Can I feed my chickens this cat food?


12 Years
Oct 26, 2007
Hi all,
I occasionally feed my chickens Purina cat chow to increase their protein intake.
My cat died awhile back, and before that, I had tried several different types of dry cat food. He had hyperthyroidism and it was a challenge to find food that he would eat. So now I have several bags of dry cat food. They are both foods that contain no corn and very low grains. Is there any reason why I shouldn't give this to my chickens? I wouldn't give it to them all at once.........just a handful here and there.
Is this okay?
I'm not a total expert so you will want to check other sources, but I have read that you can give your chickens to much protein. My suggestion would be to use the cat food from time to time as a treat and not use the cat food to replace their normal chicken fee.
I know that I have read some place on here where it was not so good to give them cat food and others who have fed it to them and they were all find. I will try to find the links to some of these thread for you. I wouldn't think a handful here and there would hurt anything. I would crush it up a bit tho for sure and I agree with the other poster on not ONLY feeding the cat food.
I throw mine a handful every morning and they're all fine. They love it. Mine free range all day and the weather is getting cooler, the leaves are dropping and I think they don't find as much as they did a month ago since they come to the door and beg more. I don't think a handful for a bunch of chickens is going to hurt them any, just don't overfeed it.
i have heard that if the chickens are molting, to grind dry cat food and add it to their feed, a cup per bird per day, so they should be fine with it-
From the Treat chart:

* Regarding feeding CAT FOOD to chickens,

the following is from DLHunicorn in response to the listing of cat food in this Treats Chart: (A word to the wise, and thank you, DLHunicorn)

"You all know how I feel on cat food and I have posted the links and reasoning behind my objections several times can potentially be detrimental to your birds health and even deadly in the right circumstances and for this reason I feel it should be left off the chart (as when you put it on it is as if you are condoning its use) I will repost here one of the sources for my objection:
..."While it is nutritionally essential, methionine excesses are far more toxic to poultry than similar excesses of tryptophan, lysine, and threonine (National Research Council, 1994). Force feeding methionine to excess can result in death to chicks (National Research Council, 1994). A dosage of 2 g / mature cat / day (20 to 30 g / kg dry diet) for 20 days induces anorexia, ataxia, cyanosis, methemoglobinemia and Heinz body formation resulting in hemolytic anemia (Maede, 1985). ..."​
Since you want to use it up go ahead. Just use it as a treat not as a whole source of feed. It will not hurt them and it will do them some good as most layer does not have a meat source and chickens do alot better with a meat since they are omnivours. People have been adding cat food for as long as it has been in production. Do not worry about it unless you See a problem.

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